Nigeria: Death toll from Lassa fever outbreak hits 70

The death toll in Nigeria from an outbreak of Lassa fever has risen to 70, authorities said Thursday.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Nigerian agency responsible for management of disease outbreaks, said in its week six update that eight new deaths from Lassa fever were reported in three states.

"Four new healthcare workers were affected in Ondo, Delta and Kaduna states," the NCDC said in the update.

It said the number of suspected cases has "increased significantly" compared to the situation in mid-January, from over 700 to 1,708.

Confirmed cases have also shot up to 472, it said.

Lassa fever is a disease spread to humans through food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or feces.

Symptoms include high fever, headache, mouth ulcers, muscle aches, hemorrhaging under the skin and heart and kidney failure.

Source: Anadolu Agency